Opto-Spintronic interfaces for next generation quantum networks - (SpinNet)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Engineering


Quantum computing is becoming a rapidly maturing field, hastening the need for novel technologies that can enable distributed quantum information to create quantum computer networks. Such quantum network, or quantum internet, is expected to offer unprecedented capabilities as well as enable us to perform tasks that are impossible to carry out with today's web. Whilst a more secure network would be one of the first applications of a quantum internet, connecting quantum devices together will have a disruptive and transformative impact on how we perform several other tasks. For instance, it would then be possible to solve problems that are currently impossible to achieve using classical computers, or even using a single quantum computer, including carrying out large-scale sensing experiments in astronomy, materials discovery, and life sciences without the need for the exchange of vast amounts of data.
Superconducting qubits-operating at microwave frequencies-are central to current world-leading quantum computing platforms and now serve as the basis for prototype quantum computers comprising several tens of qubits. Other architectures for quantum computing have also gained significant interest in recent years, such as semiconductor spin qubits and more recently-just last year-more sophisticated systems using magnetic monopoles in artificial ices have been proposed as an exciting route for quantum information processing. Whether superconducting or spin-based, the qubits' microwave signals are, however, a key hurdle in achieving large-scale quantum information distribution as they are extremely susceptible to thermal noise and/or the signal frequencies are in the microwave band. Thus, preventing the propagation of quantum signals over a long distance and making it unviable to network microwave quantum computers. Here, we propose to develop an entanglement-preserving microwave-qubit to-optical qubit interface, that will allow for the distribution of quantum states over many kilometres of fibre optical cables or through free-space channels. Realising such an interface would be critical in forming the basis of a global network of quantum computers and to realise a truly quantum internet.


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